Now offering remote counseling options!
Therapy over Telephone and Video
I am now offering the option of counseling over telephone and video! Sometimes called “telemental health” or “telemedicine,” these tools give my clients greater flexibility in location and timing of meetings, and can reduce the amount of time spent traveling to and from our sessions.
Besides travel time, there are plenty of benefits to telemental health. First, if weather conditions prevent you from getting to the office, we can still meet! Second, if you forget to come to your session (whoops!) and want to avoid being charged for a no-show, we might be able to squeeze in a phone or video session at your regular time. Third, if you’re somewhere like Bend, Prineville, Eugene, Astoria, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, or even Fields, you can have access to a mental health and career counselor without having to travel.
While Skype and Facetime are the most commonly known video chat tools, those are not HIPAA-compliant, so I don’t use them. Instead, I use three options: Vsee, Zoom, and Doxy.me. This allows us to have some redundancy should one of them not work for you for any reason.
Another advantage of these tools is that they allow computer screen sharing, so if we’re doing career counseling and working on LinkedIn or a resume, we can collaborate directly on a document.
While body language and eye contact don’t happen over the phone, I have extensive training and hundreds of hours spent providing counseling over the phone, so I am equipped to handle the nuances of emotion-heavy phone calls. I’ll be honest – the biggest challenge for some therapists on the phone is knowing when not to talk!
In order to have the best experience around telemental health counseling through your computer or phone, it’s good to think about light, sound, and confidentiality. First, it helps if you are well lit. This can be as simple as putting a desk lamp near your computer, and making sure that there aren’t any bright windows behind you that might wash out the image. Then there’s sound – if your phone or computer has a headphone jack and you can use an earphone/microphone combination, we may have clearer audio than if we just use your built-in speakers. Also, be aware of any background noises that might intrude. Third, think about confidentiality. Is the place you’re connecting from somewhere that you can really speak your mind? Who might hear you?
Once we decided that video or phone sessions might work for you, I’ll send you an informed consent document that covers some of the things you’ll need to be aware of, and some information about how to prepare for remote work together, like installing an application and checking that your connection is fast enough.
Five minutes before our session begins, make sure you are all ready to go so if your computer forces an update or your Internet connection stopped working, we can still start on time.
If you’re interested in distance counseling, click here to schedule an appointment!
There are some restrictions to keep in mind about any remote counseling options. Due to the rules of our profession, clients must be physically in the State of Oregon when we conduct our remote therapy sessions. I’ll ask you to confirm your physical location as being in Oregon for each session.
Additionally, if you’re suffering from acute psychological distress, it may be necessary to refer you to a local provider who can provide more intensive work in person.